Phyllopertha horticola - Garden Chafer Beetle

Phylum: Arthropoda - Class: Insecta - Order: Coleoptera - Family: Scarabaeidae

Phyllopertha horticola, Garden Chafer Beetle

Common throughout Britain, although less so than in the past, the Garden Chafer is not popyular with gardeners because its larvae damage lawns. Birds dig up lawns in search of the white larvae of Garden Chafer Beetles.

In upland meadows, these beetles sometimes swarm in great numbers, and on windy days they blow onto the surfaces of lakes and streams thus providing a feast for the wild brown trout that live there. Anglers are able to imitate these beetles using swarthy artificial flies, and in wales the pattern known as Coch-y-Bonddu is particularly popular... and effective.

Adults emerge, often en-masse, from their pupae during the mornings from April through to June usually leaving the pupae in a mass emergence during mid morning. They are strong fliers and feed on the leaves of trees, bushes and shrubs, and they are also attracted to flowers. (The Garden Chafer Beetle shown here was found on the flowers of a Hawthorn tree, Crataegus monygyna, at Cae Blaen Dyffryn nature reserve, near Lampeter in west Wales.

References

O'Reilly, Pat. (1997; 8th reprint 2010) Matching the Hatch. Shrewsbury: Quiller Publishing.

Foster G. N. & Friday L. E. (1988) Key to adults of the water beetles of Britain and Ireland (Part 1). Taunton: Field Studies Council.

Harde K.W. & Severa F. (1984) Field Guide in Colour to Beetles. Littlehampton Book Services.


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